Tag Archives: Pride of man

I is for Incompleteness

How often our thoughts do not bring us to think why we did not do this or that and did not become this or that? How many of us dream not of a magnificent career and when we start working dream of reaching the top one day. But when would that top being reached?

More than once we receive a figural slap in the face, and several time we are put hard on the ground, making us aware that perhaps we want to much of ourselves or that we have a little ‘too big me’ in us.

Humility is often a trait that is difficult to achieve, but we can better place our hope in it, to feel happy, than to keep on struggling in the swamp of our vanity.

Hot Dogs and Marmalade

The victory of humility is the acceptance of our own incompleteness,
in order that He may make us complete in His own way.

Thomas Merton, The Silent Life


At least half of our Playmobile guys didn’t have hair.

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Humility

Who is choosing who? Is it leaders choosing people for them or are it people who choose the leader?

In history we can see that more than once people followed the wrong leader, but we also can see how the Divine Creator had chosen Him a people, who not always remained faithful.

Human pride made that people went astray from the Most Precious and Most Righteous Leader, the God above all gods. It is man’s self-reliance and whimsy that brought him into all kinds of difficulties.

Today, man still has a lot to learn about humility and dignified recognition.

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To remember

  • Humility = virtue asserted by every religion + every spiritual tradition > understood by very few.
  • Humility = self-forgetfulness.
  • A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox.
  • natural + lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege => affirmation of one’s own superiority.
  • best leaders =  people do not notice their existence.
  • Focus on self, whether in praise or in criticism  =/= humility.
  • leader of a people must forget himself => no room for selfishness
  • leader = clear channel for the people’s will + for wisdom => no room for his own desires, his own aggrandizement, his own ego.
  • Beware the rich man bearing gifts.
  • For the leader to be among the wise =>  first necessary a measure of wisdom be found in the people.
  • people follow a venal leader, keep him tightly bound with restraints of law + of their own suspicion => can do little good, dares do little harm, + law + people restrain him.

Brian Rush

Humility is a virtue asserted by every religion and every spiritual tradition and understood by very few. It’s something that was brought home to me recently by an exploration of the phenomenon of leadership.

A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox. He is “above” the rest in certain ways: taking greater responsibility, providing guidance and help to others that they cannot as easily do for themselves, upholding the highest standards of thought and behavior. If he starts to think of himself as above the rest, though, he hampers his ability to fulfill his function as a leader. There’s a natural and lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege, and to take from it affirmation of one’s own superiority. It’s very difficult to avoid doing this, but the very best of leaders do.

As Lao Tzu put it:

To lead people, walk beside…

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Don’t Harden Your Heart

When taken by grief and facing many disappointments the danger is that our heart becomes hardened and that we do not want to see the source any more of living water.

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Today we listen to Baptist preacher Shawn Thomas who knows that there can be “great” sorrow, and “unceasing” grief also for a Christian.

He remarks

Perhaps, contrary to all we’ve heard and been taught all these years, the measure of a godly person is not how “happy” they are all the time, but how unceasingly sorrowful, as they bear in their souls the burdens of the lost and hurting individuals around them. Those who do so are in good company: they are like Paul, and most importantly, they are like Jesus Christ Himself. Those who do not feel deeply the spiritual burdens of others cannot claim to be like Him who was characterized as “a man of sorrows.” {Are Good Christians Always “Happy”?}

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We may suffer emotions and shed tears more than once in our life. Every day we face the world we also must face that we do have to tackle the problems of the day, enduring at the sight of them.

Often, being wronged we ourselves fall in the trap of doing wrong to others. Or we leave ourselves be carried away by all the problems, agony and heartache, that our own heart becomes hard like a stone. Very great sadness and emotional suffering can tear us down or become a cancer in our life.

Facing this life we also do have to face the difficulties of it. We must know we have been given a library of books to guide us through that life in a way that we shall be able to bare those pains and difficulties. We often forget that when certain things happen we perhaps also where the origin of or causing the problem to ourself. Sometimes we are put back in place, corrected as if you were. sometimes it are others who remind us of what we are doing wrong.

The tendency of our proud human nature is to reject criticism and stick to our stubborn path. But we do so to our own harm.

There is time to “stick to your guns” and do what you know God is leading you to do. But we should also have an openness to listen to someone who sees that we are making a bad mistake and need to correct it. Blessedly, David had the wisdom and humility to listen to Joab, and then act — and he saved his kingdom as a result. May God give each of us the humility and grace to listen to loving criticism, and respond in a way which will benefit ourselves and others. {Responding To Correction}

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To remember

  • Those who have hardened their hearts will believe and do just about anything except turn to the Lord.
  • they believe Any likely (or unlikely!) alternative => they’ll take any other course of action, to keep from humbling themselves + having to repent of the sin that they are clinging to instead.
  • need to beware of any hardness of heart creeping into our own life

In light of these warnings:

  • — Don’t let
    a sin remain unrepented in your life
    a bitterness against someone remain unforgiven
    pride refuse to be humbled
    an area of disobedience stand

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Preceding articles

Our existence..

Facing our existence every day

Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!”

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Reminding myself!!

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

Ruth having reason to grief

A look at the Poet’s corner’s grief basket

Some Thoughts On Bitterness From Various Authors

Dealing with Disappointment

A Glory followed by Despair

Depression Is and When

Crying is good for inner self!!

I said God it hurts

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Additional reading

  1. Failing Man to make free choice
  2. A time for everything
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  4. If there is bitterness in the heart
  5. No time for immorality
  6. What Jesus did: First things first
  7. Be humble like Christ
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 2
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

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Further reading

  1. non-failure is not equal to success.
  2. The Personal Priority of the Word
  3. The Revealing Nature of Mourning
  4. To the proud and worldly
  5. #4. What we reap
  6. Too Much Grace?
  7. Confident Humility
  8. Pride…
  9. They are Hard but Necessary

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Save

Save

shawnethomas

“Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.” (Matthew 28:11 NASB)

You have to ask yourself: just how depraved were these chief priests? The guard reported to them “all that had happened” — i.e., that the angel had appeared, etc. — didn’t they fear that this might really be a work of God? If Jesus could do this, was there any way that they could stop Him? And yet they schemed together (:12) and spread a lie about His body being stolen (:13-15) instead of repenting and believing in the Lord themselves.

There is an important lesson here:

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Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

The Christadelphian Agora comments

Reading 3 – Rom 3:9,10

“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’ ” (Rom 3:9,10).

“Our guilt is great because our sins are exceedingly numerous. It is not merely outward acts of unkindness and dishonesty with which we are chargeable. Our habitual and characteristic state of mind is evil in the sight of God.

“Our pride and indifference to His will and to the welfare of others and our loving the creature more than the Creator are continuous violations of His holy law. We have never been or done what that law requires us to be and to do. We have never had delight in that fixed purpose to do the will and promote the glory of God. We are always sinners; we are at all times and under all circumstances in opposition to God.

“If we have never loved Him supremely, if we have never made it our purpose to do His will, if we have never made His glory the end of our actions, then our lives have been an unbroken series of transgressions. Our sins are not to be numbered by the conscious violations of duty; they are as numerous as the moments of our existence” (Charles Hodge).

Peter Forbes comments:

3:2  If the Jews had a benefit simply because the Word of God was committed to them how do we view that same word? Do we feel privileged simply because we can read Scripture freely in our own tongue?

3:3 Paul (2Tim 2:13) develops the principles of this verse for the benefit of Timothy. – We have noted before that David’s Psalm (32) is used by Paul to speak of the way in which God forgives. Reflecting on what David had done – committed adultery and murdered a man – we probably cannot think of two more evil crimes. But it is these two crimes which God forgave which forms the basis of Paul’s encouragement to us.

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834)...

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834). See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 The quotation ‘that thou mightest be justified …‘ from Psalm 51:4 marks the beginning of an appeal to the repentance of David after his adultery with Bathsheba – see the title of the Psalm. This incident in David’s life, as terrible as it was, marks the magnitude of the Father’s forgiveness towards a repentant sinner. More notes on this in Romans 4.

3:4‘that thou … art judged’ is a quotation from Psa 51:4 That Psalm is a Psalm speaking specifically of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Paul highlights that the Psalm, though specifically speaking to David, actually has a general application to all.

3:5 This is the first of a number of occasions when Paul asks a question which he then answers himself. The others are Rom 4:1,  6:1, 7:7

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most...

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, who called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul, a Hellenistic Jew, was very influential on the shift of Christianity to Gentile dominated movement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:7-8   The “lie” that Paul is thinking about is the charge laid on him by others that he said “Let us do evil that good may come”.

3:8  The charge laid on Paul is similar to the hypothetical question he asks in Rom 6:1.

3:9     The teaching of Paul that we ‘are all under sin’ is quoted by Paul later – Gal 3:22–This is one of many times where Paul quotes elements of this letter to the Romans to other churches. Thus we see that Romans seems to be a letter that many of the other churches were aware of.

3:19 The phrase ‘every mouth may be stopped’ echoes the sentiments of Psa 107:42 thus demonstrating that the teaching that all men are sinners is not confined to the New Testament but is a clear Old Testament teaching.

3:23,24 These adjacent verses are at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the mind of man is concerned. One has to recognise the situation outlined in v 23 before one can be in the state described in v 24. Justification is only available to those who recognise their own personal need for salvation.

3:25-26        We should reflect carefully on the fact that God’s righteousness is seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our God is not a vindictive cruel God. Rather, as shown by the way He responded to Jesus’ obedience, He is merciful – which we should appreciate anyway because of the way in which He describes Himself –Exo 34:6-7

3:31   To the Jew the idea that the Law of Moses was no longer the route to pleasing God (if it ever was) was a major problem. So they needed to know that ‘faith’ did not remove the need for obedience

Peter Cresswell comments

English: manuscript of the Epistle to the Roma...

manuscript of the Epistle to the Romans (fragment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 – Here we see a principle that we cannot ignore.  Let God be true is a clear instruction to us not to make God into what we think He should be – not to impose on Him what we feel are the qualities of a god, but instead to open our minds to let Him show us what he really is in truth.  We are still on the theme from the previous chapters which tell us how to avoid being like those whose worship is distorted.  Let us take heed, as through this we can be justified by faith, as we are being prepared to learn next.

3:20 tells us that the law can’t save because by it there is knowledge of sin.  This shows us that the law is inextricably tied up with the original curse – that we should know good and evil.  At the end this curse will be removed and we will know only good.  We do well to remember that this knowledge of good and evil is a curse, not a privilege.  One day, those who are saved, will leave it far behind.  One could argue that by God’s grace, we already have – 5:21, 6:7 – but in that day it will be actual.  Evil will no longer be remembered or contemplated or come into mind.  We must ask ourselves: Are we ready to leave behind the choice to do evil, without looking back, or do we still consider it a privilege?

Cliff York comments

Romans 3:9 – “for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” – in chapters one and two. Paul painted a word picture, first of the Gentile world – Romans 1 – then the Jewish world, which was even worse, for they had access to God’s righteousness – Romans 2.

v12-18 – Paul describes the cadaver of sin. As Paul’s scalpel opens up the body of sin, first the throat, then the tongue, lips, mouth, feet, and eyes are laid bare and examined – Hebrews 4:12-13. And Paul’s conclusion is given in v23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  What does this tell us? We all need Jesus Christ. No-one will be in God’s Kingdom who has not entrusted his life and his salvation to the only name given among men whereby they might be saved – Acts 4:12.

John Wilson comments

Rom 3:25  “to declare his  righteousness.” Christ, the bearer of the sins of the people. Not that Christ might be punished for others, but that God’s righteousness might be declared for others to see that they might be forgiven.

David Simpson comments

Rom 3:9-20 has at least 7 quotations from the Psalms, and one from Isaiah. Then in Rom 4 we can find 7 times when Abraham’s name is written.  There is no doubt, is there, where the Gospel’s foundation is laid?

Valerie Mello comments

Rom 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

A reader writes: “even though our Lord did not commit one single sin – even of omission, he still Came Short of the glory of Yahweh – by his very mortality that he inherited by his birth of a mortal woman – meaning he had to make atonement by his death for his ‘falling short’ of the glory of Yahweh by reason of his birth by a mortal woman who, wonderful as she was, still possessed a sin-prone nature herself.”

My reply: In Rom 1, Paul pointed out mankind’s refusal to acknowledge God and God’s truth and how God gave mankind over to their lusts and the practice of sin. Then in Rom 2, Paul describes God’s judgment on both the Gentiles and the Jews. In Rom 3, Paul sums up his argument and makes it clear that all of mankind is under sin and that “every mouth will be silenced and the whole world will be held accountable to God.” With regard to God’s judgment there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, rich or poor, priest or beggar, businessmen or drunk, churchgoer and atheist, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It does not say or imply that Christ because of his human nature fell short of God’s glory!

In Rom 3:22, we read that the righteousness of God is by faith in Jesus Christ to “all” – that is, mankind in general, Jews and Gentiles, “unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference” (cf. vv. 21,23). To fall short of the glory of God is to be in need of righteousness, a righteousness imputed to us by God through Christ (2Cor 5:21).

In Matt 5:20, we are warned that our righteousness must exceed those of the Pharisees. What Jesus is telling us is that it is not enough to submit to mere outward conformity as characterized by the Pharisees, but that it must be of both inward and outward conformity. Obeying the Law was more than just abstaining from killing, or stealing, etc., it also dealt with our inward being. So it is with us under the Law of Christ, and we can only exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees if we submit to Christ. Our own righteousness will never be good enough no matter how hard we try (cf. Isa 64:6).

Jesus was the only one who could lead a perfect life to the law of God in thought, word, and deed. Jesus’ mission was not simply to die on the cross. He had to be the Lamb without blemish, without sin. He had to live a life of perfect obedience, which he did and became the righteousness of God and, thus, could not have fallen short of God’s glory. Irrespective of Christ’s human sin-prone nature, he did not fall short, but continued in all things that were written in the book of the law to do them, otherwise, how could his righteousness be imputed to us, irrespective of our human nature (cf. 1Pet 5:10)? Christ was the perfect sacrifice and we can be made perfect only in him. We are to be Christ-like (cf. 2Cor 3:18).

Christ’s passive obedience (Isa 53:7) pays our sin debt and his active obedience of a sinless life gives us the perfection required by God if we submit (cf. Matt 5:48). What is required of us is active and passive obedience to Christ. Jesus came to undo what Adam did in committing and omitting, by which his character was tarnished and sin entered the flesh and passed on to his descendants – his sin was imputed to us (Rom 5:17-19). This was man’s fall from glory and made him in need of glory.  Man was created in God’s image for God’s glory (1Cor 11:7; Isa 43:7). Christ came to restore for us what Adam lost. We must have Christ’s righteousness, active and passive, transforming us from sinners who fell short of the glory of God to saints of God who fulfill the glory of God in Christ, or God will not accept us.

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

To find ways of Godly understanding

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Continue reading: Additional comments to the 4th Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  6. The seven last sayings of Christ discussed in the new edition of the Christadelphian
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  8. God’s wrath and sanctification
  9. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  10. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  11. Atonement and the race been bought
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. 138) Cheap Grace
  14. Christianity without the Trinity
  15. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  16. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  17. Growth in character
  18. Love is like playing the piano
  19. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  20. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass
  21. Forgiveness always possible
  22. A man who cannot forgive others
  23. Answering a fool according to his folly
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  25. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  26. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  27. Breathing to teach

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Further readings

  1. The creation of Earth and Man, the fall of Man, the cursed Earth, the redemption of Man, the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of Man, the New Earth
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. Joseph and the justification of evil/sin
  4. Law and Grace
  5. Justification, Sanctification and Perseverance – By Grace through Faith
  6. Justification is by faith
  7. Why Justifying yourself is Destroying you!
  8. Are Good Works Necessary for Salvation?
  9. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  10. Theories of Atonement: Recapitulation Theory
  11. Practical Theology
  12. Michael Horton Differentiates Law and Gospel
  13. Old and New Perspectives on Paul: A Third Way?
  14. Why the Law? Part 2
  15. The Justified Dead
  16. It’s not about you
  17. Reflective Paragraphs Week 4 – Romans 3
  18. Romans 3
  19. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:1-8
  20. Romans 3:9
  21. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:9-20
  22. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:21-31
  23. “And where does that leave our proud religious claim of having a corner on God? Canceled.” ~~Apostle Paul
  24. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  25. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  26. Nullify the Torah?
  27. Under The Law
  28. Psalm 57 – As a Deaf Adder; A Sermon Preached at the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church – Sunday, October 18, 2015
  29. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  30. Confessions of a Hypocrite
  31. You are without excuse
  32. Are we good?
  33. More Fashionable Fig Leaves
  34. Elihu – A Word for young leaders
  35. Salvation & Obedience
  36. Would Your Faith Save You?
  37. Let Go of the Ladder
  38. The Playing Field Is Level!
  39. My Utmost For His Highest: The Nature Of Reconciliation
  40. Obedience apart from Christ won’t justify
  41. That One Sin!
  42. The Only Martyr
  43. we’re all “heirs according to the promise” – but we all fall short
  44. Everybody needs Jesus
  45. Rub Your Eyes (Rondel Grande)
  46. Romans Devotional- Day 25
  47. The Anatomy Of God
  48. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 1
  49. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 2
  50. Is just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned the true meaning of justification?
  51. My Sinfulness
  52. If you love yourself….
  53. Good Behavior
  54. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  55. PT. 9 (The end) You are justified in Christ
  56. Day 11: I Declare My Righteousness Is In Christ Jesus
  57. Subjected For Our Sake.
  58. Guilt & Shame Misapplied
  59. God Glories in Making You Righteous
  60. Our Comforter is our Peace
  61. We Distinguish…(Part 5) — Active/Passive Obedience
  62. We Distinguish…(Part 6) — Moral/Ceremonial/Civil
  63. Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
  64. Do I seek approval?

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The Person Who Cannot Despair

Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a person deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost…Despair is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that He is above us and that we are not capable of fulfilling our destiny ourselves. But a person who is truly humble cannot despair, because in a humble person there is no longer any such thing as self-pity.

“The desert is the home of despair.  And despair, now, is everywhere.  Let us not think that our interior solitude consists in the acceptance of defeat.  We cannot escape anything by consenting tacitly to be defeated.  Despair is an abyss without bottom.  Do not think to close it by consenting to it and trying to forget you have consented.

This, then, is our desert: to live facing despair, but not to consent.  To trample it down under hope in the Cross.  To wage  war against despair unceasingly.  That war is our wilderness.  If we wage it courageously, we will find Christ at our side.  If we cannot face it, we will never find Him.”  (Thoughts in Solitude)

The Seven Storey Mountain

The Seven Storey Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thomas Merton (1915–1968),  French-born writer who converted to Catholicism after a long and complicated intellectual journey becoming a Trappist monk, was one of the most well-known Catholic writers of the 20th century. He was the author of more than 60 books, including the story of his conversion, Seven Storey Mountain, a modern spiritual classic.

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Find also to read:

  1. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  2. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  3. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  4. No time for immorality
  5. Old age
  6. Companionship
  7. Not following the tradition of man
  8. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  10. What Jesus did: First things first

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  • The Seven Storey Mountain (Thomas Merton, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1948, 429 pages) (rabidreader.typepad.com)
    In 1941, a brilliant, good-looking young man decided to give up a promising literary career in New York to enter a monastery in Kentucky, from where he proceeded to become one of the most influential writers of this century. Talk about losing your life in order to find it. Thomas Merton‘s first book, The Seven Storey Mountain, describes his early doubts, his conversion to a Catholic faith of extreme certainty, and his decision to take life vows as a Trappist monk.
  • …the desert… & Thomas Merton (rosesintherubble.com)
    Here’s to waging war against despair with Courage & Hope from the Presence of Jesus next to us, above us, below us, around us…& within our hearts, filling us with Love (the Heavenly Kind) that makes flowers grow – even in a desert!
  • Potential and Despair (curmudgeons.net)
    In despairing over something, [a person] really despaired over himself, and now he wants to be rid of himself.
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    If he had become Caesar, he would despairingly get rid of himself, but he did not become Caesar and cannot despairingly get rid of himself. Essentially, he is just as despairing, for he does not save his self, is not himself.
  • A Glory followed by Despair (hananabila.wordpress.com)
    When you feel like everything you do is wrong
    Where you feel like you should do one sacrifice
    Where it all ends, where we all are sad
    When comfort isn’t enough for those in despair
  • Quote of the Day 08 Sept 2013 ~ Peace of Solitude (marcgilbert.com)
    The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude, which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living.
  • Thomas Merton on self-idolatry and solitude (resistanceandrenewal.net)
    I have just finished reading The Seven Storey Mountain, the spiritual autobiography of Thomas Merton. Its a beautiful book which chronicles his journey through childhood and student days to becoming a Trappist monk. Merton was born in 1915 and experienced an eclectic upbringing in USA, France and London. However, his
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    He locates the dangers of ambition down to the most basic of Christian temptations, a ‘self-idolatry’ which fuels a relentless need for achievementearly life was marked by tragedy as both his mother and father died when he was young.
  • Typewriter of the moment: Thomas Merton (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
    One of Thomas Merton’s typewriters sits on display at the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Political orphaning of moderate unionism is source of wonder and despair. (sluggerotoole.com)
    What party represents the vast majority of unionists — those who are not Orangemen, bandsmen, gunmen, Bible-bashers, flag-flyers, bonfire-builders or all the other overlapping little constituencies that unionist politicians never dare to disappoint?
  • The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Inspiration of His Life, Thought, and Writing by Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M. (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)
    In The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton, Franciscan friar and author Daniel Horan shows how, both before and after he became a Trappist monk, Merton’s life was shaped by his love for St. Francis and for the Franciscan spiritual and intellectual tradition. Given recent renewed interest in St. Francis, this timely resource is both informative and practical, revealing a previously hidden side of Merton that will inspire a new generation of Christians to live richer, deeper, and more justice-minded lives of faith.

 

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

Not following the tradition of man

Looking for having success we can follow different paths. To come to the most positive way to get somewhere we best look into the very Old book of books, the bible where we can find a lot of advice, better than that of man of today.

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

The first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, following the tradition of men according to the rudiments of the world, and not in accordance with Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 KJ21)

The apostle Paul tells the Colossians,

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition …” (Letter to the Colossians 2:8);

telling them that

“they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:23).

What is of value?

It is by

“holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19).

And how does this happen?

By reading the word of God; it provides essential spiritual nourishment that we need every day. But it is not so much a case of trying to stop ourselves doing things that our human nature inclines us toward thinking and doing, but rather trying to occupy our thoughts to a greater degree with spiritual things. The result will be that we will be less and less inclined to indulge in fleshly thoughts and activities, but will grow “with a growth that is from God” as we appreciate his word to an ever greater degree.

Reading the Word of God we can come to get to know the Works of God, His Plan, how He has chosen Himself a people and how we too can become partakers of the promise God made in the Garden of Eden. There a positive message was given to those who had broken the relationship with God. The Creator saw the faults of the 1° Adam and took care that there would come a 2° Adam to save all people. But it would be up to the people themselves to accept or to ignore the Good News of the Saviour.

The promised one was the son of God, the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ). Under his blessing a person can come “in the light of Christ” and can get a positive mind. To come to more knowledge and mature in faith and spirit the person has to open his mind  in such a way that Christ can come in him or her. The one who got to know Christ wants to build a relationship with him and with his followers.

Central to our relationship with God is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). “Him we proclaim”, writes Paul, “that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).

How is your maturity developing? Absorbing the true sense of the divine word is a foundation for this. May we all increase day by day in the “knowledge of God” and become “mature in Christ” so his way of thinking becomes more and more our way of thinking.

Such a right way of thinking shall also create a right way of living and having us taking on the right attitude for living and for having good relationships with others and to become successful in our life. We also can see that like at the beginning of the world the 1° Adam rejected the right of God to be the Master in the world, we do find lots of people who take such an adversary attitude against the Creator as well. They mostly bring lots of negative elements against those who believe in the Creator. They also shall try to do everything to get those believers a negative feeling.

From Scriptures we learn that we should not envy others, but we also come to see how the world develops and which position human beings are going to take in it and how we are set to chose. We also have to make up our choice to whom we want to belong.

Note in the dramatic account of Paul’s experience of shipwreck on the way to Rome in Acts 27 that Paul says

“the God I worship”

and then significantly adds,

“to whom I belong.”

Do we view our God in that way?

Those who are baptised commit their lives into the service of God and of Jesus Christ His son. In the same way, the people of Israel under Moses entered into a covenant with God. Moses told them,

“For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6 ASV)

Sadly, most of the people in the generations that followed failed to have the sense of belonging to God possessed by those entering the promised land. If we make no commitment to belong to God, then we belong to the world – a world which is facing an awesome shipwreck!

Isaiah has a vision of our days; it describes a time when the kingdoms of men come to an end and “the lofty pride of man shall be humbled” (Isaiah 2:11). It is a message against “every high tower” (Isaiah 2:15) and never have buildings been built higher than today. Later Isaiah sees in vision:

We should be conscious that there shall come a day thta we shall not have to face the day of man but the day of the Adonai, divine Creator Who shall bind up the wounds of His people and shall heal the bruise caused by the blow they received from other man. at that day those who did not want to know of the Name of the Most High shall have to hear that Holy Name of the Adonai, the Most High Lord the elohim Hashem Jehovah. At that day those who did not want to know of Him shall hear and see from afar, his anger burning, in thick rising smoke. they than should know it is too late to avoid His lips full to the brim with fury, His tongue a consuming fire. His breath shall race over them like a tornado or like a racing torrent that rises up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and put a bridle in the peoples’ mouths to lead them astray. Shall you be ready and shall your song be like one that is sung on a night when a holy feast is kept, and will your heart be happy, as if walking to the sound of the flute, to the mountain of Jehovah, the Adonai, to the rock of Isra’el?

“24 the oxen likewise and the young asses that till the ground shall eat savory provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fork. 25 And there shall be upon every lofty mountain, and upon every high hill, brooks [and] streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the hurt of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27  Behold, the name of Jehovah cometh from far, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire; 28 and his breath is as an overflowing stream, that reacheth even unto the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction: and a bridle that causeth to err [shall be] in the jaws of the peoples. 29 Ye shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come unto the mountain of Jehovah, to the Rock of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:24-29 ASV)

Those who do not know God’s word will indeed be terrified. But those who know God’s word, although their faith will be tested – as “man is humbled and each one is brought low” (Isaiah 2:9) – they will then rejoice in the total wonder of those days. Will you be there? You make the answer now!

Therefore it is important that you make the right choice and take the positive route. Not getting afraid of man around you, making you shy and withdrawn, or getting you down even to become depressed, but standing strong not getting intimidated by man, but believing and trusting in the Hand which is much more Powerful than any human person, remembering:

“The lofty looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11 ASV)

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Greatest single cause of atheism
  3. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  4. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  7. Relationship with God (articles)
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  9. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  10. True riches
  11. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  12. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin (video)
  13. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  14. Fearing the right person
  15. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  16. God become master of our passions
  17. Power in the life of certain
  18. Being sure of their deliverance

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  • Colossians 2 (zachscripturestudy.com)
    Paul warns the Colossians in Colosse about men who will come to them and attempt to confuse them with ‘doctrine of men’
  • Colossians Chapter 2 (pofw.wordpress.com)
    That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
  • Does Paul Condemn Philosophy? (pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com)
    Some Christians have criticized the use of philosophy due to Paul’s statement against philosophy in Colossians 2:8. Yet, Christianity teaches is knowledgeable, is based on truth, defines the nature and meaning of life, holds great logic, teaches aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Paul himself gives lessons in most of the previously mentioned systems. So, does Paul refute himself? Or is there a problem with the way many interpret Colossians 2:8? So, the question must be asked: does Paul really criticize the use of philosophy? In this article, Paul’s statement in Colossians 2:8 will be exegetically examined and in its proper context and the article will answer whether Paul really condemns philosophy after all.
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    Paul uses a form of philosophical apologetics to demonstrate that empty arguments and bad philosophy does not represent the truth. If one places his or her faith in any system that leads one away from the truth, that person will slowly erode into a system of erroneous trust and hedonistic living. That is not to say that one may not have elements of truth, but holding elements of truth does not necessitate that one holds full truth. A little bit of error can lead down a pathway of huge problems.
  • Practise it! (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    We are called and expected to live accordingly, empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life. He looks to guide us closer to God, into the meaning and freedom of our true relationship with Him and upwards to our God-given potential and purpose.
  • Colossians 2:8-10 How easy can we be deceived? (ashesofdiversity.wordpress.com)
    If we call ourselves Christians, are we not followers of Christ, and what does that mean? Do we spend time knowing God’s word so we can discern what is a deceit or what is truth?
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    How about using fear as a reason to not do things right. How about following your heart? Keeping yourself so busy you do not have time to study. How about liking certain philosophies even if they are secular, but we spend a lot of time trying to make it work with Christianity because it is more modern.
  • Colossians 2:2-15 (olgatodd.wordpress.com) > Colossians 2:2-15
    See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
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    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
    Since the beginning of time, mankind has formed beliefs of the unexplainable and unknowable. Over thousands of years, these beliefs became traditional, customary, and institutionalized within regional societies. People continue to express an interest in spiritual matters from all corners around the world. Everybody has pondered the meaning of life, what happens after we die, what existed before us, and whether any other life exists in the universe. Mankind may never know concrete answers regarding the spiritual. In fact, humans may destroy the planet before we can discover the remaining life in unexplored regions. Nevertheless, we continue to seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with our Creator.
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